Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Vision

We envision a County where…

  • Human relations are at their best because fundamental human rights have been met for everyone and all groups, including equitable access and opportunity to meet our most basic human needs for, safety, food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, free expression, and a voice in governance.
  • All people and groups will enjoy an equal opportunity to realize our full potential to do good for ourselves and our communities, unfettered by personal, institutional, or structural prejudice or discrimination, or abuse of power.
  • It will be the norm to value and draw upon cultural diversity to enrich all aspects of our lives, and to understand and appreciate individual differences and commonalities as well, so that everyone feels a sense of belonging.
  • Through universally taught and practiced effective conflict resolution skills, we will enjoy greater harmony in our intergroup and interpersonal relations, which will bring about increased cooperation and collaboration between people and organizations.
  • Our County government will lead and model the highest level of respect for civil liberties, human rights, and the intrinsic dignity of every human being through its policy and budgetary priorities and practices.

Our Core Values and Guiding Principles

Justice and Human Rights: We strive for social justice. We believe the foundation of positive human relations is to treat everyone with respect that affirms their intrinsic dignity as a human being and protects and fulfills their fundamental human rights.

Diversity and Inclusion:  We must continue to move beyond tolerance as a goal. We celebrate the splendid diversity of human cultures, identities, and expressions.  We seek mutual understanding and the full acceptance and inclusion of everyone in the essential aspects of community life.

Understanding and Compassion: We know that if we seek to understand the perspective of others, if we listen intently, try to “walk in their shoes”, our compassion for others will grow.

Cooperation and Collaboration: We engage others because we know that none of us succeeds alone, we need the support of others, and together we are stronger.

Non-Violence: We believe in the general principle of non-violence, knowing that violence begets violence. We must learn and teach how to express dissatisfaction, resolve conflicts, and achieve positive change peacefully, with respect for human dignity and without resorting to violence.

Concrete Results and Deliberate Process: We believe that the social transformation we seek requires dialogue, but not dialogue as an end in itself. We persevere to discover and devise solutions that bring about real change. We know that the process through which change is created is as important as the results. The ends never justify the means: the end result does not permit us to violate our principles to reach those results. So we consciously employ processes that respect and reflect our values.

Teaching over Doing for Others:  We believe that our work is more effective, meaningful and long lasting if we emphasize teaching others how to do what needs to be done, instead of doing it for them.